We're currently migrating over to our new website so won't be blogging here anymore. Visit Now[close]

Why We Scrapped Disqus Blog Comment System & The Big Blog Dofollow / Nofollow Debate

By on 4 October 2011 @ 11:14 AM.

Tags: blogging, blog comment systems, disqus, dofollow, nofollow, reactions.

Our new website has been launched two weeks now which saw a multitude of changes to code, systems, design... Infact, everything.

Our previous website used Wordpress and we opted to use the Disqus comment engine/system, whilst this was initially a great attribute to our company blog, over the past year, we became more and more frustrated with the limitations and bugs with the system. My biggest gripe with Disqus though, was the inability to follow links in the URL, what this means is that the nofollow attribute was automatically placed on all URL's from blog commenters - You may well be thinking that this is acceptable and you infact do the same on your blog? Well I disagree, I feel the whole nofollow/dofollow saga has ruined the web, it has been abused and is constantly used to manipulate search engines, sculpt PageRank and now 99% of website owners don't want to offer a dofollow link unless they get paid for it, the whole situation has gone barmy!

As a website/blog owner, surely it should be my choice to decide whether I dofollow/nofollow comment links Disqus? After raising this issue with their technical team over a year ago now, still to this day, there is no option to change this and I feel this a serious flaw in their service. I want to maintain a blog and write fresh content to benefit our readers, to share our knowledge, to help businesses understand digital marketing and SEO - If someone comments on our blog with spam or a link to unauthoritative website, I won't approve the comment, it's quite simple. If someone comments on our blog with the sole purpose of gaining a backlinks, then guess what? Providing they are contributing value to the subject of the article, I don't really care. Shouldn't that be what running a blog should all be about, interaction, thought sharing, debates, conversation, sharing information... Engaging with your audience? I feel a crucial element of blogging has been lost somewhere along the lines with most places online, which is a shame.

So, that was my biggest problem with Disqus and even after raising the issue, it wasn't addressed (and surely I wasn't the only user of their comment system to request this feature). One of the other issues, critical for SEO, was the speed. They had tried to include so many features and integrations which was providing so much on-page 'bloat' that the comment system plugin would always take an additional two minutes to load than the rest of the page. One of the biggest attractions of using them originally was it's visual appearance, it looked neat, clean and allowed other Disqus users to like comments, posts and reply with Facebook, Twitter or using their OpenID. Unfortunately, the more they added, the more updates released, the more things broke and the slower it got however. But saying that, if you want a fully fledged comment plugin for your blog, Disqus probably does have the most offerings out there.

It's probably worth noting that the 'Reactions' count never seemed to work after three months or so of using the plugin, which is a real shame as despite the shares across various social media platforms, all pages of our blog that showed exerpts, displayed '0 reactions, 0 comments' which doesn't make your content appeal that much to new visitors. After raising support tickets about this too, the problem never was resolved - Instead have developed our own comment system and are in the process of integrating our own 'Reactions' count for the blog.

I've only touched the surface of Disqus's offerings as there are a lot more features and even developer and styling options behind the scenes, Dmitry Fadeyev over at his website, talked in much more depth about the problem with Disqus last year which you may also like to read.

How have you found the Disqus comment system? And do you feel all blogs should be made to dofollow comment links? Let us know in the comments, this makes for a great debate!

UPDATE - 11/01/2012

Since the publication of this article, we have tested the possibility of making Disqus comments dofollow as per Igor's tutorial over at tigor.me. This tutorial will remove the "nofollow" relationship from comment links when javascript is disabled (which is how a search engine crawler will view a web page). With javascript enabled in browser, the comment plugin will serve the comments from the Disqus servers and will appear with the "nofollow" link relationship for humans - but you will be crediting contributers to your blog with dofollow backlinks in the eyes of a search engine. Thanks to Igor for the testing and discussion on this.

About the Author

Geoff is more commonly recognised online by his internet pseudonym 'zigojacko'. He is the Director of Search at Clubnet Search Marketing, founder of The Clubnet Group and has a huge involvement in the music, clubbing and entertainment sector where he also manages operations at Clubnet UK

Comments

Mark Alexander

Posted by Mark Alexander

No point commenting then, I only wanted a link back ;) Seriously though, I completely agree with you. PS - tried to tweet this for you and the Tweet didn't work from your sexy bookmarks

post a reply


Business VoIP

Posted by Business VoIP

brilliant article... whatever you said is absolutely alright. Do-follow links for approval are very less in number, most of the blogs give do-follow links after paying them.

post a reply


Martin Marx

Posted by Martin Marx

Many people who comment on blogs really love those links to their website they leave behind. After all, more links is a good thing. Disqus still allows you to leave your link, and it is still as valuable from an SEO standpoint as any other commenting system … perhaps even better.

post a reply


IT Recruitment

Posted by IT Recruitment

This is very interesting, we've been looking in to the possibility of adding Disqus to our website but this will certainly influence our decision. Good article.

post a reply


Blogdog

Posted by Blogdog

I've only just installed disqus and now I'm having second thoughts haha. I'm on blogger so at least it looks better than their standard comment form ;)

post a reply


Technopsis

Posted by Technopsis

I recently installed Disqus on my blog, and although I like it a lot - I was thinking of removing it again because of their default nofollow. There are ways around it as you point out, but wouldnt it in the end be more easy and beneficial to install something like commentluv which is dofollow by default?

post a reply


Michal

Posted by Michal

No-follow comments are like a plague. I think any webmaster should make a conscious choice between no-follow and do-follow without being forced to no-follow by default.

post a reply


thewebmasterblogs

Posted by thewebmasterblogs

I recently installed Disqus on a new website I made ... I too love the looks but want the ability to selectively dofollow links in comments. I was planning to write to Disqus about this but I'm glad that I read this post first. I'll soon remove Disqus ... CommentLuv sounds nice ... Can you do a review about that?

post a reply


Kevin

Posted by Kevin

Great post

post a reply


Long Island advertising agencies

Posted by Long Island advertising agencies

There are pros and cons to every blog commenting system. What I like about Disqus is that they listen to user feedback, and do try to improve their system.

post a reply


Geoff Jackson

Reply by Geoff Jackson

Sure, this is true - Disqus do engage with their customers so credit to them, this is more that can be said for many other companies. With this particular case however, I had raised the follow/nofollow issue and requested the config as a feature on numerous occasions within 18 months and it didn't look likely this was going to be considered.

post a reply


Binary Option

Posted by Binary Option

I think having no-follow comments on your blog greatly reduces the amount of valuable comments from real people. I mean, many people who comment on blogs like to get something in return, and avoid nofollow blogs.

post a reply


Post a Comment

Name *

Website

Email *

Comment *


Name

Subject

Phone

Message

Email

 

Please complete the captcha form -->

All fields are required.

Contact Us